Wow, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some huge egos in the military over my twenty years, but this LTC is certainly up there with the biggest. His ego appears to be only slightly smaller than his paranoia. In the military we learn the concept of BLUF, or bottom line up front. That is, when you write a report, or a briefing (or an op-ed), you should say what your bottom line is, first. Then support what you are saying with the rest of the brief. This LTC apparently never learned that way of writing, as his “bottom line” in his op-ed is in fact, his bottom line, after several paragraphs of DNC talking points on the latest fake Bushitlerburton crime.
“Yes, I took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies "foreign and domestic," but the implication of domestic intelligence-gathering by the military, even by a limited number of soldiers, should be sufficiently disturbing for American citizens in and out of uniform that we think long and hard about crossing the line, even a little.”
He took an oath to defend the US, but he seems really lukewarm about that solemn vow. If this LTC is asked to do that defending in a manner that is uncomfortable for him, he’d find that “disturbing.” I wish I had that luxury. I have found most of my deployments, including this one I’m on now, uncomfortable.
But I guess I’m just some goose-stepping automatron, because I don’t really find spying on those that would kill me and my family, “disturbing”. I find that type of spying comforting. In fact, I find that type of spying inherent in the oath that the President takes.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Perhaps he’s forgotten that islamofascist have not only killed a bunch of Americans, but that their stated goal is to destroy the United States. Perhaps he's not heard that lawyers for both the Bush White House and the Clinton White House have stepped forward and defended the constitutionality of the eavesdropping as used against these enemies, be they foreign or domestic. He could have missed this as he is, after all, in school. Maybe they don't have a tv or newspapers in the student lounge.
I suppose this LTC believes that he would be justified in not being a “spy” because as a soldier, he's required to disobey all illegal orders IAW the laws of land warfare. However, according to counselors on the left and the right, the surveillance he's all worried about is not illegal. So this guy thinks he knows constitutional law better than the high-priced constitutional lawyers available to President Bush and former President Clinton (and most likely the three presidents preceeding them) because he's what...a student in law school? That’s a pretty big ego there, sir.
And talk about paranoia!
“Now that we've learned that the military may be collecting such "raw, unverified information" in the form of "Talon reports," my fear is that when friends and neighbors see me, in or out of uniform, their speech could be chilled. I wonder: Will I begin to see a change in behavior? Will my neighbors draw their shades more often? Will they think twice about putting a bumper sticker on their car? Will I be deleted from the church list? Will my law school class discussions be more reserved?”
I don’t know about his friends and neighbors, but the ones I have don’t view me with suspicion; no matter how many Democratic Senators tell them I'm a cold-blooded, torturing, Ghengis Khan-like, killer. But still, he may have less trusting friends, so I’ll take a guess and answer a few of his admittedly rhetorical questions.
Q. Will I begin to see a change in behavior?
A. Yes, you will. I'm guessing your outsized ego has been known for a while, but your increased paranoia due to Bush Derangement Syndrome will affect how you interact with everyone; including your friends, acquaintances, and family.
Q. Will my neighbors draw their shades more often?
A. Unlikely. Shades have no effect on the type of eavesdropping that the McChimpy Bushitlerburton regime is conducting, and your neighbors are likely to understand that (better than you do, obviously).
Q. Will they think twice about putting a bumper sticker on their car?
A. No. See answer above. The eavesdropping is basically electronic, and bumper stickers don’t give off any form of electro-magnetic waves. (Or do they? woo-OO-oo-OO-oo)
Q. Will I be deleted from the church list?
A. Perhaps. The pastor may find the reflection from your tin-foil hat a bit distracting as he gives his sermon.
Q. Will my law school class discussions be more reserved?
A. They can’t be any more reserved than they are now if you aren’t discussing the difference between illegal and legal.
I’m not surprised that BDS has struck into the field grade ranks of the US Army. We continually remark to those outside the military that those of us in uniform are simply a reflection of the US as a whole. We have soldiers who are honorable, and soldiers who are crooks. We have soldiers who lean to the left, and soldiers who lean to the right. We have soldiers, like me, who take their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States seriously; and we have soldiers who will defend the Constitution, only so long as they are not "disturbed" in doing so.
The title of this LTC's op-ed is "I'm a soldier, not a spy." I believe he's not a spy, but as for the other, I think he's being too generous to himself.